We were founded back in 1849 as the Freehold Land Society (FLS). And while the world may have changed a bit since then, the way we work has remained essentially the same – we lend out money to help people buy a home, and provide a safe place for people’s money right across the region. Simple, right?
It’s all about the mutual model
Our membership consists of both borrowers and investors – those who stow their money away with us for safe keeping and grow their savings, and borrowers who take out mortgages with us to enable them to buy a home. And of course, making a profit is important as this keeps the business going and allows us to continue re-investing back into the community in which we all live.
We don’t compete on best buy mortgages or claim to have the highest savings rates around. In fact, we much prefer to focus on tailoring our products carefully and attentively to the needs of our members – from charity support savings accounts to self build mortgages. We’ve long specialised in helping so-called mortgage misfits, those who struggle to get a mortgage with the larger banks due to unusual circumstances. And on the other side of the business, we offer a range of innovative and oh-so Suffolk savings products for our members based in the East of England.
More than just membership
As a mutual organisation, we’re not accountable to anyone but our own members. We don’t have shareholders – instead, every member owns a share in the Society, and voting members have a say in how we are run. We think membership of a building society should mean much more than simply having a home for your money. That’s why in 2014 we launched All In, our industry-leading membership programme that ties together the strands of our community outreach, volunteering, events and exclusive offers and discounts into one package.
For more information, and to find out more about what it means to be a member of our Society, visit the Members Lounge.